A planet or not a planet, that is the question

It may sound ridiculous, but I'm actually sad that Pluto has just lost its 'planet' status. Currently, and temporarily, international astronomers will call it a 'dwarf planet' until an agreement is reached on how it should be categorized. They have further developed a sub-category, 'trans-Neptunian object', for those space things orbiting around Planet Neptune, which will include Pluto and another round object now known as 'Xena'.

But even the astronomers disagree on whether "downgrading" Pluto's status is an appropriate policy. Some argue that researches in astronomy are expensive hence they will need public support -- and kicking out Pluto from this "Group of 9" may not be a popular step. After all, we are all so accustomed to having Pluto as our equal neighbor. But, on the other hand, retaining Pluto's status can lead to confusion among scientists, and some other newly found objects which have larger size than Pluto, 'Xena' and 'Ceres', shall be included in the Group of Planets.

In short, the options would be whether we will lose a member, or have additional new members.

Despite my grief for 'losing' Pluto, I think it is a bit disturbing that science, natural science, can be politicized like this (oooh.. money, money, money!). People will eventually get used to eight planets instead of nine, and we will always be fond of Pluto regardless its new status.

I just wonder: what if some creatures in other galaxy -- say the Andromeda -- decide that Pluto or Xena actually belongs to that galaxy, not to our beloved Milky Way?

Well, should such above scenario occur, perhaps the conflicting countries will finally unite to keep Pluto within our galaxy's "boundaries" from those aliens who are trying to invade our spatial territory! Remember that old political adage: "internal cohesion through external conflict"?

Peace, in the end, will prevail on Planet Earth.

And comes the era of Inter-Galactical War.

But at least there is a chance for a peace on Earth. Er... no?

PS:
My source for this particular post, which will provide more details about the story of Pluto, could be found
here.

4 comments:

Dinda said...

iyah. somehow, i feel sad knowing pluto is no longer part of us :(

anyway... tadi barusan sayah 'hang-out' bareng dengan para aparat pemerintah yang berkantor di Pejambon :D. Kita hampir berhasil menyuruh pak menlu buat nyanyi loohh... kikikikik... tapi pada akhirnya si bapak mau juga joget bareng kita! seneng deh! gw juga diajarin cha-cha sama staf deplu, dirimu bisa dansa dansi juga ya? :P

Boe said...

Science has always been a field where multitude of interests collide.
Do you know that there are (literally) hundreds of fungi, virus, insects, and most probably many other organisms having (redundantly) multiple LATIN names (latin name is supposed to be fixed and singular to avoid confusion) just because they were 'discovered' and 'authorized' by scientists from competing countries (probably at around the same time)?
Really in the end, the problem is in us, not in our objects of study.

sontoloyo said...

wadowww..emang kaga pusing menarik batas demarkasi antara planet2 yang berda di orbit matahari dengan di orbit bintang lain ?
kok gue kaya mendapatkan ide untuk mengajukan cerita untuk gene rodenberry yah ?

Madame Meltje said...

Bahkan planetpun sekarang gak pasti.
Apalagi yang lain.

Uhhhh menyeramkan,,,,,siapa yg beli Pluto siyyy?